The Lakers tied the game at 1-1 against the Suns, while Dallas once again surprised the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staple Center.
Lreigning champions Lakers, carried by a vengeful Anthony Davis, won in Phoenix to equalize (1-1) in their series of the 1st round of the NBA play-offs, Tuesday, Brooklyn and Dallas doubling the bet against Boston and the Clippers .
The Lakers’ response
After the fierce battle lost in match N.1, the Californians set the record straight (109-102) to avoid finding themselves in a very delicate position. And it is Davis, also required to react, who was dominant (34 pts, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks).
“After my poor performance, I knew I had to redouble my efforts and energy. Tonight I wanted to send a message, ”commented the winger.
At his side, LeBron James was not to be outdone (23 pts, 9 assists), including the shooting behind the arc which definitively pushed back the Suns in the last minute. In the first half, it was the German Dennis Shröder who set the tone (24 pts), while Andre Drummond battled hard below (15 pts, 12 rebounds).
These four players managed 88% of the team’s points.
Opposite, Devin Booker took again his responsibilities in attack (31 pts), because Chris Paul (6 pts, 5 assists) was lessened (contusion to the right shoulder). And if DeAndre Ayton (22 pts, 10 rebounds) and substitute Cameron Payne (19 pts, 7 assists) struggled, it was only enough to bring Phoenix, led throughout, to a unit at the start of the 4th quarter time.
Because the Lakers clearly did not intend to give in, before receiving twice.
The Clippers in great danger
It’s a big blow that Dallas is trying to achieve: driven by a spirit of revenge after the elimination against LA (4-2) at the same stage last year, at the end of a series under high tension , the Mavs followed with a second success at Staples Center (127-121).
Once again, Luka Doncic sparkled (39 pts, 7 assists, 7 rebounds), delivering a high-end distance duel with Kawhi Leonard, who started off with 30 pawns scored in the first period (personal best in play -offs) to 85% success (!), but less sharp thereafter (41 units all the same, at 66%).
It was in the 3rd quarter that the Texans made the difference (30/19), Tim Hardaway Jr (28 pts) taking charge of playing the silent assassins behind the arc, planting the 6th of his 8 attempts in the last seconds.
On the Clippers side, Paul George also did what he could (28 pts, 12 rebounds), but the rest of the team did not weigh. However, it will take a collective reaction in Dallas, under penalty of a huge disappointment.
Fireworks in Brooklyn
Authors of a real offensive festival, the Nets crushed the Boston Celtics (130-108) to lead two victories to nothing.
Brooklyn killed the suspense in the first quarter (40-26), before increasing its lead to 34 units at the break. The great architect of those 24 minutes was Joe Harris, who shot 6/8 at three points. He added a seventh streamer in the second half and finished with 25 points.
Top scorer, Kevin Durant (26 pts, 8/12 on shots) also struggled in all compartments (8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks). His two “Big3” associates, James Harden (20 pts, 6 assists) and Kyrie Irving (15 pts, 6 assists), obviously contributed.
The Nets’ strike force was above all collective. Illustration was made in the space of a minute when Blake Griffin (11 pts) offered himself two vintage dunks, recalling the time when he was a spring-loaded winger with the Clippers (2009-2018), for conclude two actions where the ball flew from hand to hand, making the opposing defense dizzy.
The Celtics have all the less existed as Jayson Tatum (9 pts) left the floor prematurely after a blow received in the right eye. Marcus Smart (19 pts, 6 assists), Tristan Thompson (15 pts, 11 rebounds) and Evan Fournier (16 pts), who exchanged a few sweet words with Durant, did not weigh heavily.
“There, it’s not a matter of life or death,” summed up the Frenchman, aware of the critical situation of the C’s.